Vatican Radio Uses Social Media in New Evangelization

Facebook Becomes Medium for Spreading the Gospel to a New Generation

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By Ann Schneible

ROME, OCTOBER 8, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Just days before the synod on New Evangelization commenced here in Rome, Vatican Radio's English section launched a new Facebook page, bringing the voice of the Church and the Holy Father into the world of social networking.

With Facebook having recently welcomed its 1 billionth user, Vatican Radio joins other Catholic news services who are beginning to take advantage of the social networking site to promote the message of the Gospel. In addition to the new English section Facebook page, Vatican Radio also has pages for their Portuguese, French, and Arabic sections.

Seán-Patrick Lovett, program director of Vatican Radio's English section, spoke with ZENIT about the importance of utilizing Facebook in today's social climate. "Digital natives will say it is a long time in coming," he said, and "digital immigrants will say it's taken us a long time to get there. But we're here: we're on Facebook. It's something we could not not do."

Facebook users who "like" the new Vatican Radio English section page will receive up-to-date coverage on the happenings in the Vatican with "beautiful pictures, wonderful texts, and exquisite sound"
"One of the things that we're trying to develop," Lovett explained, "is giving people in-depth perspectives on what is happening in the world. It's very easy with the new social media to get the 'who, what, when and where.' It's much more difficult to understand the 'why.' By going on to the English section Facebook page, you will get the 'why' to all the news stories you already knew about."

It is no accident that the launch of the Facebook page corresponds to the opening of the synod on New Evangelization. "Evangelization is about getting the Good News out there," Lovett said. "Getting the Good News out is a service, and that's what Vatican Radio's English section is here for… we have to use whatever means we have to get that Good News out. Facebook is there," he continued, so "we have to use Facebook. It's a new way to reach a new generation of people who wouldn't necessarily have access to that information otherwise."

"It's about time that Vatican Radio's English section got on Facebook, and we're glad to be there."